(AFP) Disney animated musical “Frozen” extinguished the box-office flames of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” to take top spot as the highest-earning movie in North American theaters this weekend, industry estimates showed Sunday.
The 53rd movie in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, which began with “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” in 1937, “Frozen” is loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairytale “The Snow Queen.”
Preliminary figures from box office tracker Exhibitor Relations showed the movie had deposed “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” after raking in a cool $31.6 million.
The latest installment of the blockbuster “Hunger Games” franchise continued to hold up well, however, taking second with $27 million, taking its overall earnings to date to a healthy $336.7 million in North America alone.
The series stars Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, a teenager forced into a deadly battle for survival in the macabre post-apocalyptic kingdom of Panem.
In a distant third place with $5.3 million was “Out of the Furnace,” a thriller starring Christian Bale and Casey Affleck as two brothers who are sucked into the criminal underworld as they attempt to break free from poverty.
In fourth spot was superhero flick “Thor: The Dark World,” the latest movie based on Marvel’s iconic comic book character, which took in $4.7 million on its fourth weekend.
In fifth was “Delivery Man.” The comedy, starring veteran funnyman Vince Vaughn as a sperm donor who discovers he has sired 533 children, earned $3.8 million.
Gritty action-thriller “Homefront,” about a former drug enforcement officer forced to battle a meth druglord in small-town America, was in sixth, taking in nearly $3.4 million on its second weekend in theaters.
In seventh place was World War II drama “The Book Thief,” based on Markus Zusak’s best-selling novel about a girl who steals and shares books in Nazi Germany, earning $2.7 million on its fifth week out.
Romantic Christmas comedy “The Best Man Holiday,” a sequel 15 years in the making to “The Best Man,” in which old college friends reignite old romances and rivalries, was just behind with $2.67 million.
In ninth spot was “Philomena” starring Steve Coogan and Judi Dench, about a journalist who helps a woman’s search for her long-lost son, seized when she was forced to live in a convent. It made $2.3 million.
Rounding the out the top 10 was drama “Dallas Buyers Club”, the critically acclaimed drama starring Matthew McConaughey based on the true story of an AIDS-stricken rodeo cowboy who set up an illegal ring to provide unapproved anti-viral drugs to people battling the disease in the 1980s.
The movie, which has earned rave reviews and talk of a possible Oscar nod for McConaughey, earned $1.5 million.